Dogs make their mark on home design

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If 70 percent of Americans would choose their dog over their spouse, it's not surprising that many dog owners want nothing but the best for Fido when they are choosing finishes and features for a new house. But Fido could care less, said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a veterinarian and the founder of the renowned Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts Cummings Veterinary School in North Grafton, Mass. "A house is not intrinsically interesting for a dog. Dogs have been domesticated for 12,000 to 14,000 years, and they cling to humans because we're both social animals. But dogs still have a dog agenda." "Dogs are just not on the same wavelength of enjoying a house. A dog couldn't care less about granite countertops. They're not interested in furniture types or drapes. They're not interested in aesthetics," Dodman said. They will notice the difference between their old house and their new one, but it's not a distinction that is meaningful to them. Fido's owners may be thrilled with all the great things i...